Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway
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N. Jack "Dusty" Kleiss • Timothy Orr • Laura Orr
Scrappy Little Nobody
Anna Kendrick may be one of the most relatable celebrities today. Step inside her life and as deep into her mind as she’ll let you with her first essay collection, Scrappy Little Nobody. This frank and incisive foray into Kendrick’s world and her perspective on nearly everything is incredibly entertaining. Each essay chronicles a major event in her life, perfectly told with refreshing humor and occasional social commentary. She details her childhood and steady rise into fame—one she is incredibly proud of because she worked doggedly toward whatever goal she set. Movies, theater, awards shows, and more are covered in an all-too-short read.
Regardless of your opinion on Anna Kendrick, this is a fantastic book. She writes with her distinct voice and subversive humor. She’s funny and quirky, with fierce intelligence and a deep passion for her craft. It’s an infectious read that will have you laughing out loud, pausing in thought, and considering how likely it is you could befriend her. Scrappy Little Nobody is simply a great read. Pick up a copy and share it with your friends–you won’t regret it.
Prodigal Father Wayward Son: A Roadmap to Reconciliation
It takes a lifetime of resentment to separate one generation from another. All too often it ends there without resolution, without redemption. Sam Keen, father of Gifford Keen, who is now well over the half-century mark and a father himself, offers a template for burying the venomous myths that fester age-old resentments. Although they demonstrate the particular male traits that often divide father and son, the solution here might just as readily apply to mothers and daughters.llSome will pick this book up thinking it is steeped in religious vernacular and then blush at the offensive language. This was not written for Sunday school children, nor perfect families. More than a memoir, Sam and Gifford write in alternating series with one purpose in mind: to find the true reconciliation. In a day and age when divorce and remarriage have become the norm, so has family dysfunction. Until now, we have been forced to live with the myths we have created about our parents, about our children, and about ourselves. The recipe for healing broken relationships costs less than any of us expected.
It is hard to say something about Charles Dickens (1812-1870) that has not been said before. There are scores of academic books about him. He was the most famous writer from the British Victorian age. He represented British culture. He created some very famous characters and told stories that are still beloved today. He wrote a variety of different types of novels, leaving behind an oeuvre that is vast, wonderful, charming, and humanitarian. He championed the poor and the underclass, giving them references for their struggle to improve their lot.
Charles Dickens, An Introduction by Roehampton University Professor Jenny Hartley is a wonderful telling of his life and accomplishments. It is voraciously researched and very accessible. As told, Dickens had a difficult early life, with his family going to debtors’ prison in England while he was sent off to work early in the factories. That shame and poverty enabled him to write about the struggles of working class and poor people, with some of his most memorable characters being children in difficult straits. He wound up in journalism and then a writer. He serialized his stories in magazines, some of which he owned, and published giant books. Hartley relays a fascinating and insightful biographical tale about an author who inspired the creation of communities of fans.
My Mad Fat Diary
First and foremost, I haven’t watched the television series that is based off My Mad Fat Diary by Rae Earl. And secondly, I went into reading this book practically blind not knowing what to expect and I think that’s best when in comes to this book in particular.
While this book is set in England in 1989, I love that Ms. Earl didn’t do a cookie cutter young adult romance book. Earl allows her readers to feel for her character Rae Earl through these diary entries. While this is not a conventional form of telling a story, I applaud Ms. Earl for taking a chance and doing something fresh and innovative. These diary entries truly allow readers to feel the ups and downs of what it is like being a teenager. I found these entries relatable so I liked that the author didn’t sugarcoat anything about this book. Thank you Ms. Earl for writing an honest, hilarious, heart-warming, and raw book that allows readers to feel the vulnerability of every teen or adult out there.
An Abbreviated Life : A Memoir
This is a great memoir about growing up rich but not privileged. The author was surrounded by material comforts and famous people, but had no one to care for her. Her father lived in Southeast Asia and her mother was impressive and witty but over bearing and terrifically needy. The author is a very good writer. This memoir has immediacy. One can see the little girl trying to get sleep on a school night while the party rages on. One can see the little girl so eager for happy contact with an unfortunate mother with no boundaries. One can see the little girl clinging to her abusive nanny because the woman does care about her in her own way.
The poignancy of this memoir comes as the grown up little girl struggles to overcome the past without any guidelines for living a “normal” life. The breakthrough comes when she no longer sees her mother and hides from her on the other side of the world. This memoir rings very true; childhood abuse has long lasting effects. One hopes that this remarkable writer will be freed of them.